Choosing a lip balm
Lip balm is available in both ointment and waxy formulas. Experts say that
viscous lip ointments are best for chapped lips because they can permeate
dry, cracked and peeling skin. Waxy balm formulas often come in twist sticks
that are convenient and easy to apply. They can also come in a salve that
must be applied with the fingers. The best lip balms -- regardless of type
-- contain ingredients that are good for the skin and can hydrate and protect
your lips from the elements.
- Look for emollient ingredients. Lips
are very susceptible to the elements, because they are always exposed
and they don't contain any oil glands to produce moisture. Lanolin, glycerin,
vitamin E, shea butter, jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid provide much-needed
moisture to this delicate area.
- Seal in moisture. Products containing
petrolatum or mineral oils seal in moisture, allowing lips to heal
and preventing further dryness and chapping.
- Use lip balm every day. Beauty expert
Paula Begoun recommends applying lip balm every night before bed
to keep dry, chapped lips at bay.
- Don't lick your lips. It's tempting
to lick lips when they are feeling dry, but this actually exacerbates
dryness. That's because saliva contains enzymes that break down the protective
barrier on lips.
- Exfoliate. Experts say that exfoliating
dry, flaky lips with a toothbrush or washcloth can help improve their
appearance and allows lip balms to penetrate the skin more readily.
- Avoid medicated
lip balms. Although some consumers prefer medicated lip balms that
leave a tingly feeling behind, experts say they are not necessary and don't
heal lips any faster than standard balms. In fact, they may irritate sensitive